Winning car of Scots racing legend Jim Clark comes home

The Lotus Cortina was delivered to the new Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in Duns by Scots racing driver Dario Franchitti, who held the car in his private collection. PIC: Contributed/Tony Marsh/Live Borders.
The Lotus Cortina was delivered to the new Jim Clark Motorsport Museum in Duns by Scots racing driver Dario Franchitti, who held the car in his private collection. PIC: Contributed/Tony Marsh/Live Borders.
Share this article
0
Have your say

It could usually be seen leading on a bend on three wheels, such was the speed the small but mighty Lotus Cortina reached under the control of Scots racing driving legend Jim Clark.

Yesterday, the very car that Clark drove to victory in The 1964 British Saloon Car Championship completed a more sedate journey when it rolled home into into the Borders town of Duns, close to where Clark was raised and where it will soon take centre stage at the new Jim Clark Motorsports Museum.

Jim Clark at the wheel of the Lotus Cortina which he raced to victory in the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship. PIC: Contributed.

Jim Clark at the wheel of the Lotus Cortina which he raced to victory in the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship. PIC: Contributed.

Behind the wheel of the classic racing car was another Scots racing driver, Dario Franchitti. He latterly held Clark's winning Lotus Cortina in his own private collection and has now loaned it to the museum for display.

Franchitti, a three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 who is originally from West Lothian, said: “I think the new museum is fabulous. From the moment you walk in the door, it’s brilliant. It’s a fitting tribute to Jim. The car I have brought down is Jim’s car, I’ve just been looking after it.

READ MORE: Jim Clark - the complete natural-born driver

"I’m very proud it is featuring in the museum, where other people will get to see it and enjoy it.”

The Lotus Cortina will be a highlight of the new museum and will sit alongside a  Lotus 25/R6, which Clark raced in 10 Grand Prix meetings. PIC: Tony Marsh/Live Borders.

The Lotus Cortina will be a highlight of the new museum and will sit alongside a Lotus 25/R6, which Clark raced in 10 Grand Prix meetings. PIC: Tony Marsh/Live Borders.

Clark , a two times World Championship winner, tragically died on a racing track in Germany in 1968, aged just 32, but has continued to influence the sport and new generations of drivers ever since, particularly given his ability to master handle any kind of car he raced.

At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions than any other driver.

In celebration of his achievements, the The Jim Clark Trust has been gathering in Clark's collection of racing cars from around the world to go on show at the museum.

Alongside the winning Lotus Cortina will soon sit Clark’s Lotus 25/R6 – which he raced in 10 Grand Prix races between 1963 and 1965, including victories in the British, Dutch and Belgian Grand Prix in 1964 and in France the following year.

READ MORE: In Pictures: Scotland's lost motor industry

He also raced it to victory at Goodwood twice.

The Lotus 25/R6 is being delivered following an outing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and is being loaned by Tinguely Museum in Basel, Switzerland.

Andrew Tulloch, curator from charity Live Borders said: “It is hard to put into words how appreciative we are of Dario and Tinguely Museum loaning these legendary vehicles to the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, putting them right at the heart of this new attraction.

“There are very few of Jim’s former race cars on public display and there is little doubt that these will be among the stars of the show when the museum opens later this month.

“Having these vehicles here alone will undoubtedly attract visitors from across the world, complementing the trophies, film footage and memorabilia in what will be a must visit for motor racing fans and those looking for a great day out.”

Clark was born into a farming family in Kilmany in Fife with his family moving to land at Chirnside in Berwickshire when he was around six-years-old.

He attended Clifton Hall prep school in Edinburgh and then finally at Loretto School. He had been driving cars and tractors on the farm since he was a boy but it wasn't until he met friend

Ian Scott-Watson at a young farmer's meeting that his interest in racing got underway. Scott-Watson secretly entered Clark into a sports car race at Crimond near Fraserburgh in 1956. Clark came last, but his career had just begun.

The new museum has been created by Scottish Borders Council in partnership with charity Live Borders, The Jim Clark Trust and the Jim Clark Memorial Room Trust.

Funding for the project has come from the Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and The Jim Clark Trust, the latter including a grant from the Fallago Environment Fund and individual donations from around the world.

Ben Smith, Secretary of The Jim Clark Trust, said: “On behalf of The Jim Clark Trust we are extremely grateful to the Tinguely Museum and Dario Franchitti, a Patron of the Trust, for allowing these iconic cars to be displayed in public.

“It is humbling to see these world famous, beautiful cars, in which Jim raced to success all those years ago, in his home town of Duns, Scotland. They are sure to be the star attractions of the new museum, bringing to life the story of Jim Clark and inspiring future generations.”

The Jim Clark Motorsports Museum is due to open on Thursday, July 11.